North Carolina's 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

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North Carolina's 8th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
May 8, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Richard Hudson Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Larry Kissell Democratic Party
Larry Kissell.jpg

North Carolina U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of North Carolina.png
The 8th Congressional District of North Carolina held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.
This is the 8th Congressional District prior to the 2011 redistricting.

Challenger Richard Hudson (R) defeated incumbent Larry Kissell (D) on November 6th, 2012.[1] This switched partisan control of the district. The political blog Daily Kos did an analysis of the fundraising figures and found Republican challenger Richard Hudson outraised Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell in the third quarter. Hudson raised $512,000 to Kissell's $220,000.[2]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
February 29, 2012
May 8, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: North Carolina has a closed primary system, meaning only registered members of a particular party may vote in that party's primary.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by April 13. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 12.[3]

See also: North Carolina elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Larry Kissell (D), who was first elected to the House in 2008.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. North Carolina's 8th Congressional District was located in the southern portion of the state and included Cumberland, Hoke, Scotland, Richmond, Montgomery, Anson, Stanly, Cabarrus, Union, and Mecklenburg counties.[4]


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Larry Kissell[5]
Republican Party Richard HudsonGreen check mark transparent.png

July 17, 2012 Republican Runoff candidates

May 8, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

Election results

General Election

U.S. House, North Carolina District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Larry Kissell Incumbent 45.4% 137,139
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRichard Hudson 53.2% 160,695
     Write-In N/A 1.5% 4,446
Total Votes 302,280
Source: North Carolina State Board of Elections "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Democratic Primary

U.S. House of Representatives-North Carolina, District 13 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngLarry Kissell 72.6% 45,987
Marcus W. Williams 27.4% 17,393
Total Votes 63,380

Republican Primary

U.S. House of Representatives-North Carolina, District 13 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRichard Hudson 32.1% 21,451
Scott Keadle 22% 14,687
Vernon Robinson 18.2% 12,181
Fred F. Steen II 14.5% 9,670
John M. Whitley 13.3% 8,894
Total Votes 66,883

Race background

North Carolina's 8th was considered to be a Tossup according to the New York Times race ratings. Democratic incumbent Larry Kissell was challenged by Richard Hudson (R) in one of the most vulnerable Democratic districts. After redistricting, his district strongly favored Republicans.[9]

Republican challenger Richard Hudson has been included in the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program. The program highlights challengers who represent the GOP's best chances to pick up congressional seats in the general election.[10]

The Washington Post listed the House of Representatives elections in North Carolina in 2012 as one of the states that could have determined whether Democrats retook the House or Republicans held their majority in 2013.[11] North Carolina was rated 8th on the list.[11]

Kissell did not received the monetary assistance set aside for him from the Democratic Party, while the Republican Party poured money into Hudson's campaign.[12] Despite the fact that the majority of voters in this district were registered democrats, the district has a history of voting republican, and after redistricting the ratio of democrats to Republicans decreased.[12] The disparity of funds and the new political demographic have analysts favoring Hudson in this race, but Kissell has won against long odds in the past: in 2006, he won the primary for the Democratic nomination without the support of the party.[13]

Kissell's voting record caused some rifts in a local chapter of the Democratic party. Leaders of the Cabarrus County Democratic Party have signed a petition to remove their chairman after she refused to endorse Kissell because of his anti-Obama voting record. Kissell voted to repeal the PPACA (Obamacare), refused to endorse Obama for re-election, and declined to attend the Democratic National Convention.[14]

Hudson's campaign reported that Kissell declined to schedule a final debate between the two candidates, and claimed that he was reluctant to engage in debates throughout his campaign.[15]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in North Carolina

Following the 2010 Census results, North Carolina did not gain or lose any congressional seats, maintaining its 13 representatives. Under the new map, the 8th District swung Republican. While the previous 8th District lines encompassed a voting base going 52 percent for Obama in 2008, the new district would have gone just 42 percent for the Democratic president.[7]

Registration statistics

As of May 11, 2012, District 8 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the North Carolina Board of Elections:

North Carolina Congressional District 8[16]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 8 450,771 201,071 149,211 100,489 Democratic 34.76% -44.23%
"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. North Carolina's 8th District became more Republican because of redistricting.[17]

  • 2012: 39D / 61R
  • 2010: 49D / 51R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. North Carolina's 8th Congressional District has a PVI of R+12, which is the 91st most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 58-42 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 63-37 percent over John Kerry (D).[18]

Campaign contributions

The race has attracted $1.9 million in outside spending since Labor Day. All of it has been spent on Republican Richard Hudson.[19]

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are candidate reports.

Larry Kissell

Larry Kissell (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[20]April 15, 2012$351,835.40$179,430.53$(67,301.13)$463,964.80
Pre-primary[21]April 26, 202$463,964.80$13,745.56$(44,892.90)$432,817.46
July Quarterly[22]July 15, 2012$432,817.46$252,508.34$(76,740.83)$0
October Quarterly[23]October 15, 2012$608,584.97$222,939.23$(270,537.98)$560,986.22
Running totals

Richard Hudson

Richard Hudson (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[24]April 15, 2012$238,345.6$216,373.24$(109,645.96)$345,072.88
Pre-primary[25]April 26, 2012$345,072.88$345,072.88$(125,152.53)$235,866.47
Pre-runoff[26]July 5, 2012$235,866.47$238,636.91$(300,573.72)$173,929.66
October Quarterly[27]October 15, 2012$173,929.66$513,002.96$(331,960.54)$354,972.08
Running totals

District history

Candidate ballot access
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See also


  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map, North Carolina," accessed November 7, 2012
  2. Daily Kos, "Third quarter House fundraising: who's got the cash?" October 18, 2012
  3. North Carolina State Board of Elections, "Registering to Vote in North Carolina," accessed July 26, 2012
  4. North Carolina Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed August 24, 2012
  5. Coshocton Tribune "GOP candidates Hudson, Keadle face runoff," May 8, 2012
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Charlotte Observer "8th District GOP field grows," accessed December 26, 2011
  7. 7.0 7.1 Roll Call, "Race Ratings: GOP looks for major gains in North Carolina," accessed December 26, 2011
  8. Salisbury Post "Steen makes it official as Republican field taking on Kissell Grows," accessed December 26, 2011
  9. New York Times, "House Race Ratings," accessed August 10, 2012
  10. NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
  11. 11.0 11.1 Washington Post, "The 10 states that will determine control of the House in 2012," accessed April 25, 2012
  12. 12.0 12.1 Fay Observer, "Rep. Larry Kissell faces fight from Richard Hudson in Congressional District 8" accessed October 17, 2012 (dead link)
  13. Charlotte Observer, "Robert Pittenger's $3 million dwarfs rival war chests" accessed October 17, 2012 (dead link)
  14. Independent Tribune, "Cabarrus Democratic leaders move to oust party chair" accessed October 17, 2012
  15. Fay Observer, "U.S. Rep. Larry Kissell won't commit to debate against challenger Richard Hudson" accessed October 17, 2012 (dead link)
  16. North Carolina State Board of Elections, "US Congressional Districts by County and Precinct," May 11, 2012
  17. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in North Carolina," September 2012
  18. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  19. The New York Times, "Outside Spending in Key House Races," October 25, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission, "Larry Kissell April Quarterly," accessed August 19, 2012
  21. Federal Election Commission, "Larry Kissell Pre-primary," accessed October 17, 2012
  22. Federal Election Commission, "Larry Kissell July Quarterly," accessed August 19, 2012
  23. Federal Election Commission, "Larry Kissell October Quarterly," accessed October 17, 2012
  24. Federal Election Commission, "Richard Hudson April Quarterly," accessed August 19, 2012
  25. Federal Election Commission, "Richard Hudson Pre-primary," accessed October 17, 2012
  26. Federal Election Commission, "Richard Hudson Pre-runoff" accessed October 17, 2012
  27. Federal Election Commission, "Richard Hudson October Quarterly" accessed October 17, 2012